Marie Claire Idées Craft Fair

This past weekend was the craft fair hosted by my favorite quarterly magazine, Marie Claire Idées, and held at the Louvre. I went on Sunday with my friend Julie (of Knit-in-Public Day fame).

Marie Claire Idées Sign

We didn’t attend any of the instructional sessions, but that was okay, since you could pick up directions for the “before and after” projects.

Marie Claire Idées Avant/Apres

The exhibition halls were divided according to type of craft: yarn&fabric, home decorating, paper… My favorite section was the yarn& fabric one, with all of the soft yarns, pattern ideas, and quilting fabrics. The prices were a little shocking, however. Four euros for a piece of fabric measuring only 50x50cm (that’s only 1/4 of a square meter!). Luckily, I found a 2? bin and found some prints I liked for my next quilting project; what that project will be is still a mystery to me. What is sure is that I will be finding the rest of the necessary material in the States or in second-hand shops!

In French, quilts are called “patchworks,” and why not? They’ve chosen the name for the piecing instead of the quilting, which is usually what we picture when we think of quilts anyway. The patchwork/quilting stands at the fair were beautiful. I particularly appreciated the “Frenchness” of the majority of the quilt designs. One vendor was selling directions for making a quilt out of your own family heirlooms: Grandma’s monogrammed napkins, your aunt’s antique curtains, redwork embroidery, Mom’s red-striped tea towels (and you know how much I love those!) Mostly in red and ivory patterns, it was definitely a French-country look. Sophisticated but slightly rustic. Definitely timeless. Check out this article about French quilting traditions. I’m only sorry I didn’t take pictures of what I’m talking about.

The popular yarn company Phildar was well-represented with their own knitting bar (which reminded me of so many knitting cafés in New York City) and a whole wall of gimmicky yarns with hot-pink fur-like fringe, curly queues, etc. Not my usual cup of tea, but it had a lot of people excited about crafting, so what’s the harm?

Marie Claire Idées Knit Bar

I was determined to find some yarn for my own mittens and purchase it from one of the other vendors, but in the end, Phildar had a color that matched my coat the best. So in spite of quite a rude sales associate and my best intentions, I came home with two skeins of almost 100% acrylic Phildar yarn called “Wilky.” Boo.

Wilky Yarn
Wilky Yarn, in “Naturel” (photo from Phildar’s website)

The mittens are knitting up nicely, however, thanks to a combo of “Wilky” and some left over camel hair yarn from my stash. The wool mittens I made for Seth last year were a tad itchy, so this time I am not such a purist. More to come about that project!

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